Monday, January 23, 2012

Water, water, every where!

Water, water, every where!
I ponder the words of this classic poem (Rime of the Ancient Mariner-Coleridge) on a morning like this, not for the feeling of being cursed for killing an albatross- but rather for the fact that there is a precious resource flowing all around thanks to the violent storms we endured last night. Yet aside from enjoying the beauty, it's unusable to me current state!
Probably the worst weather we’ve seen since April, these storms chose the wee hours to visit. Thanks to our ever vigilant local meteorologist we knew approximately when to expect them so of course I slept in a state of readiness although there wasn’t anything I needed or could do. My thoughts however always shift to personal readiness when I see such a threat looming. I ask myself, what do I need to do to continue my normal routines in the event of a disruption? I’ve no problem admitting that I do love the creature comforts such as running water and morning coffee! Most of the time when we hear the term preparedness, survival and sustainability we tend to have ominous thoughts of major catastrophe, but those words just as easily represent our ability to walk through uncomfortable,  seemingly minor  crisis just the same. When we approach preparedness with the same attitude we do when we fuel up our cars it makes it possible for the task to no longer seem so hard. We put fuel in our cars to avoid being uncomfortable and having our routine interrupted. It’s my belief that we should approach preparedness with the same positive attitude!
As promised in my first blog I will begin to lay out preparedness tips- slowly and hopefully present them in easily do-able fashion. I will begin by saying sustainability is all about peace of mind in living a healthy, happy and productive life.
This brings us back to WATER! In the poem the ships crew is dying from thirst, yet there is water everywhere- only its water they can’t drink without becoming sick. This poem provides a valuable lesson in what I’ll call Sustainability tip #1.
Family preparedness begins with the most basic yet often forgotten element we must have to live, which is water! Water only comes second to air. Duh, you say? See? It’s not so hard, rather steps in a simple plan that anyone can begin. Water purification becomes the next objective. There are many options ranging from purchasing purified water and storing it to treatments and filtration systems. Do your homework and choose what best works for you to get things started. I believe in diversity and it never hurts to have a few gallons of the store-bought water in the pantry. I also place a few gallons of tap water in the freezer. This serves a dual purpose- one being that it keeps the freezer cold longer in the case of a temporary power failure and then the water can be used (even though it’s desirable to purify it before drinking in the event it were to become contaminated in the freezer). The other method I use is purification through filtration like Brita, Berkey or Pur. There are many filtration system options. In coming blogs I’ll address this topic in more depth. 
So, if you already have some water in the pantry you can say you’ve already begun the process of family preparedness! Several books have been published and there are many sites devoted to the topic. My plan is to share the most helpful lessons I've learned through the years and supply pointers with anyone interested in becoming sustainable. There is a lot to share that will involve food storage & preparation, tools, shelter, gardening, security, renewable energy and health.
It’s a beautiful day! Rejoice and be glad in it! The above photo is the stream coming down the mountain this morning. I can hear it ROARING from the dome! I guess one could say it’s a little something the mountain claimed as her own from last nights storms and offered it to us as a gift!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ecclesiastes 11:1  "Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days ".
Well, here goes my bread! Of course to some the notion of floating bread might not be so appetizing but I thought this scripture best described my journey to the world of "blog".  I've been encouraged by many to take the "plunge" and most recently had a new friend enter my life that helped me sort of "pull" it all together (thanks Eve!).
As a first stab at my micro-dot in this new universe I'll list my purpose and hopefully, as it grows  my post will be useful or encouraging to anyone that finds themselves visiting.
To begin with I'll explain why I chose the name "out of the box". I'm sure for some this name will make perfect sense as I accepted long ago that it's really OK to march to the beat of a different drum......that we are all quite different and should enjoy being individuals created in the image of the Almighty yet uniquely designed to glorify Him. The catechism goes on to state that we should also enjoy Him forever! I take this literally.
Personally I enjoy pretty much anything outdoors. I see His creation, even in a horribly broken world and feel His presence. I enjoy getting my hands dirty in the garden, having an aching right arm from casting my fly rod, the feeling of wet sand (and mud!) beneath my feet, the smell of the air before and after a rain and I even love rain! I love to have a project in work and plan things. I love pine trees, chocolate and wine but will only drink it the respectable way- in stemware! Some would say I'm an over-planner, but that's what makes me me and them them! I love to travel. I especially love to cruise. I have a love/hate relationship with 90 degree angles. I live in a round house. Now here's where it probably gets weird for some- but coming from the Gulf Coast and growing up in hurricane country I'll still say it- I am energized like nobodies business when there's a storm in the Gulf! Not gleeful but more like a squirrel driven to prepare for a long cold winter.
Now that we no longer live near the Gulf I sort of miss that feeling but I'll cope. We do get our share of winter weather here so I'm trying to "transition" over and draw on that energy- it's not quite the same but I try to harness a little!
I suppose growing up in a storm-prone area could explain why I'm such a planner. Why I do feel the need to gather nuts and store them away "just in case" but better to have and not need than need and not have! Right? I love the sustainable lifestyle and long to be more independent. Most of all I love my family and friends.The goal of my blog is to tell my story as it unfolds and share with others lessons learned and mistakes made all on this journey while I enjoy my life "OUT OF THE BOX".